Flash Software

Random Cool Software Finds and Hacks

OS X Icons

Here are a few apps and tips I’ve found over the past couple weeks. Hopefully some of them will be useful to you as well.

How to convert mp3’s to m4b’s
There’s a neat guide on iPodLounge on how to convert mp3 files (or better yet, CD’s) to m4b’s so you can bookmark them in iTunes and on your iPod. You can also use Rejoiner to join mp3’s if you have already ripped an audio book and have multiple files. Make Bookmarkable is a cool iTunes script that makes .aac files bookmarkable on iTunes for OS X (on Windows simply rename .aac files to .m4b for the same results).

Supinfo Share Manager
If you need an easy way to connect to Windows from OS X, check Supinfo Share Manager out. You can also save bookmarks of commonly accessed computers and set custom actions. It’s free.

Sidenote is a non-intrusive way to keep notes on OS X. I personally still use Notational Velocity (their website is down at the time of this writing), but depending on your needs, Sidenote could work better for you. It’s a great looking piece of free software.

gmail Widget
There are a few gmail widgets for Dashboard out there, but I like this stamp shaped one the best.

DownloadSquad is a great new blog with downloads for all types of software. I once started something similar, but it died due to lack of… something.

1 Click Answers
With the press of a hot-key (oddly enough, not a click) view information on any word from What you get includes highlights from Wikipedia, a dictionary, thesaurus and other facts. The software is called 1 Click Answers and works on Windows as well. If you use Tiger for OS X you can also can access the definition of any word (in a Cocoa app) by highlighting it and pressing ctrl+cmd+d (this is a built in feature). Director
Check out director for dynamic viewing and searching of bookmarks. If you’re not using yet, what are you waiting for? It’s the best way to find qualified links on almost any subject. Works with Firefox and IE (not Safari).

SuperDragAndGo is a great, timesaving extension for Firefox. SImply drag links, text and images to open, search and save. Try it and you’ll be hooked.

OS X doesn’t have wget built in, but it does have curl. I was trying to wget and it was just spewing a bunch of binary junk. The way to use it is curl -O I also discovered that if you want to get a bunch of numbered files you can do this curl -O[0-100].mp3. Very useful.

Slideshow Pro
Slideshow Pro is an excellent Flash app that keeps on improving. Create amazing slideshows from iPhoto or by hand editing a simple XML file.

Google Earth
In this case, the best is last. Google Earth is amazing. The ability to view anywhere on the planet in such a smooth and seamless way is astounding. If you’ve used Keyhole (the software Google bought to make Google Earth) the upgrade is a pretty big improvement. For one, it’s free, the huge watermarks are gone and there are other nice improvements to the user interface. Google Earth is most certainly worth looking at if you’re on a PC. The Mac version is forthcoming (hopefully).

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Flash Interfaces That Don’t Require Clicking

Two websites that take the click out of using a mouse. I’m sold on the idea. After using them for a few seconds it’s completely natural not clicking. I think it really adds to the experience of the site–the silence, feeling like the site knows what you want before you tell it. Kudos to the designers.
Yamaha Design

If anyone knows of other non-clicking websites or applications, I’m interested.


FlashBlog – All Flash Weblog Sofware

Flashblog LogoI recently found FlashBlog, open source weblog software with the front end entirely done in Macromedia Flash and the backend driven by PHP and MySQL. There have been several attempts at this, but this is the first one that looks to me like it has some real potential. I don’t think that what they’ve created fully takes advantage of Flash’s best features yet, but enough work has been done on it that someone with even basic programming skill could take it and really create an excellent Flash weblog.

There’s a lot of work to be done, notably RSS feeds (which look like they’ll be completed shortly), better archiving, alternate HTML/CSS content (probably could be done with RSS), direct link URL’s and probably some work on the admin interface (which is decent already), but what has been done so far is truly impressive. They’ve overcome the hurdles of dynamically resizing the page content, using CSS for styles, a commenting system and the general overwhelming feeling a project of this proportion brings with it.

Kudos to Francisco Rubiales and those who are working with him and I hope to see this continue to be an active project that will be used on many sites in the future.

PS If you hadn’t noticed already, the entire Flashblog site is in Spanish.

LazloAlso… if you’re interested in Flash and Programming (or Flash without having to buy Flash) and you haven’t already, check out Lazlo, a competitor to Macromedia Flex, previously $20,000 then $2,000, now open source.